The Athanasius Kircher Socitey recently held their first meeting and I was invited to construct a chain reaction machine that would be set off in front of a live audience. I live in Seattle and the meeting was in newyork. Here is a link to their site.
Anyhow I had to MAKE it here and SEND it to NY...it was a huge hassle but it was totally sweet setting it off live, something not normally done for audiences. I made it from junk basically with a few elements that cost a lot. There are a couple of super stiff springs, a balloon is popped with a LASER, a semiautomatic rubber band shooting device, and I even incorporated a fireball.
At the end of the performance its way better at the end because its flash paper. but in my apartment all this burning string fell on the carpet (the light from the fire can be seen at the bottom left side of the screen). Now I have this crusty black carpet in the living room, oh well. After the camera went off it was extinguished.
When my cell phone is called, (this is the traditional "cool" way to start a chain reaction) it falls off of the little metal ramp and yanks down the clapboard. A match mounted in the end of the clapper lights on fire during its descent and causes a string to burn. This releases a weighted wheel.
As it rolls down the ramp it shoots 10 large rubber bands out into the audience. The bearing drops into a ladle mounted to a fulcrum, the other end pulls a string that turns on a high power laser pointer.
When the slinky hits the lever it pushes UP on the head of a drawing model doll. This motion triggers another arm to swing the opposite direction sending a party poppers celebratory strings into the air to fall on the leaping wooden man.
It also pulls a dowel out from under a weight. (this part is pretty hard to understand when just looking at the picture) the weight pulls a board with candles on the ends UP to the middle of the frame, it ignites a flammable strand which when it burns through, releases a poster which can say anything on it. In this case a message to some people working with the Discovery channel.